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08/09/2018

Zimbabwe Should Immediately Release Human Rights Lawyer Tendai Biti

August 9, 2018

Tendai Biti, human rights lawyer and respected public servant, has been arrested by Zimbabwean authorities on trumped-up charges that he incited violence in the wake of the contested Zimbabwe elections. Tendai is an active member of the opposition party and had expressed concerns about the validity of the election results. He had sought asylum in Zambia, and his lawyer there had obtained a court order preventing his extradition. In contravention of international law, the Zambian government disregarded the court order and extradited him. He is now in custody in Zimbabwe.

Tendai was a trainer at the 2017 Makwanyane Institute of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide. We know him as a brilliant lawyer who is deeply committed to democracy and human rights.  Together with other African colleagues who attended the Makwanyane Institute, he founded Pan-African Defense Lawyers Against the Death Penalty (PANADEP). We call upon the Zimbabwe government to release Tendai immediately, to guarantee his rights under the Zimbabwe Constitution and international human rights law, to ensure his safety and humane treatment, and to dismiss all charges against him. 

 

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Human rights lawyer Tendai Biti at the 2017 Makwanywane Institute for Capital Defenders